A Boston Condo Is the Epitome of Serene and Soothing — House Call

Name: Annabel Joy, her husband (Kean Duffey), and their French bulldog (Mona)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

Your eyes don’t deceive you: This is a SECOND house call of the same home. But, it appears that the first post’s headline (A DIY Designer & Chronic Rearranger’s Boston Condo) was particularly appropriate, for Annabel has submitted some more photos and the space already looks pretty different. In fact, it sounds like her career has been updated, as well: “I’m a special education teacher-turned-interior designer, currently preparing to launch Trim Design Co., a boutique online interior design firm that I started with a friend.”

“At Trim, we use vintage and artisanal pieces in every one of our designs. We’re about creating homes steeped in individuality and we want to celebrate emerging makers and timeless pieces instead of fast-furniture. I live with my husband Kean—a chemical engineer who thankfully puts up with my constant rearranging and experimenting in our space and our French bulldog, Mona.”

This is our bedroom and I love how peaceful it feels with all the warm neutrals. I have plans for wall art and an upholstered headboard to bring in a little bit of color though.

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Casual eclectic modern

This is our bathroom. It looks like wallpaper, but it’s actually vinyl decals. It took me several hours to stick them all up, but I think it was well worth it and the process was actually kind of relaxing!

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

What is your favorite room and why? That’s tough! My favorite room is a tie between the kitchen and the bathroom. I know it’s weird to love your bathroom, but it’s where I first learned to use power tools (to install the woven bamboo roman shade), and I covered the walls in vinyl decals so it looks like polka dot wallpaper, and my favorite piece of art is in there. It’s a pink risograph print we bought on our first wedding anniversary in Provincetown, from the incredible Brooklyn-based artist Sean O’Connor.

We completely remodeled our kitchen last summer and painting this radiator was my favorite part. When I had the idea, I didn’t think my husband would go for it, but he was totally into it and this Tiffany blue color was his idea.

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

The kitchen is my other favorite because I love to cook and we completely remodeled it last summer. It hadn’t been updated since the seventies and it was in really bad shape: Crooked particle board cabinets, laminate counters, curling linoleum tiles in mottled brown. Now it’s bright and happy and I especially love the old radiator, which we painted a bright Tiffany blue.

I found these vintage oushak runners on Etsy after a long search for two that went well together without totally matching. I love this picture because my mom is on the other side of the door on a work call and Mona just really wants to hang out.

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? If I had a magic genie, I’d wish for a dining room! Like many city apartments, we don’t have a spot big enough for a real table. Our living room is actually pretty big for an apartment, but the back section of the room serves as the walkway between the front door and the kitchen, so it has to stay open.

My solution was to use the sofa as a divider between the pass-through and the rest of the living room, and then I put a lucite console table against the back of the sofa with two wishbone chairs. It serves as my desk during the day, since I work from home, and at night we use it like a bar counter to eat. But I’d love a dining room, so we could have friends over for dinner and sit around a table together.

Another shot of the guest room. We are big plant people—there’s a plant in every room including three in the shower! The carved figure on the windowsill is from when I did a semester abroad in Rwanda back in college. After I bought her, another craftswoman told me she was a fertility goddess, so she lives in the guest room now because I’m not quite ready for her energy yet!

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

Any advice for creating a home you love? My advice for creating a home you love is to think about how you want the space to feel as a whole before buying individual pieces. Sometimes pieces by themselves don’t speak to you, but they might work together with your other stuff to create that ideal vibe you’re aiming for. I have to resist my magpie urge to collect every really special piece I’m drawn to, because the end result is more visually chaotic than I want for my space.

This is a weird photo I took of the guest room, but I just love how the jaunty lidded basket looks sitting on this curved side table. I use the basket as a trash can and the side table was hand carved for us as a wedding gift. The framed photo is David Bowie, I gave it to Kean for our paper anniversary because he’s a fan.

(Image credit: Annabel Joy)

I also return again and again to the advice my mother, who has an incredible eye, once gave me: “Sometimes you don’t realize how wrong something is in a room until you remove it.”

Thanks, Annabel Joy!

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